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Secure the best possible defense lawyer for YOU and your case. Put my extensive criminal law and trial experience to work for you. My extensive experience in over 40,000 criminal matters enables us to obtain the best possible resolution in your best interest.
SERVING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
San Bernardino County
San Diego County
San Luis Obispo County
Santa Barbara County
You need an advocate who has YOUR best interests front and center. YOU need a lawyer who will seek out, advocate and work tirelessly to obtain the absolute best possible resolution of YOUR matter. When it comes to choosing a defense lawyer to represent YOUR interests select one with extensive experience and one who will care about YOU as an individual not just another client. Let my extensive criminal law experience serve YOU in offering YOU hope for today, tomorrow and YOUR future. Do not settle for less!
I handled 40,000 plus criminal matters during my career. Let my extensive criminal law experience serve YOU in offering YOU hope for today, tomorrow and YOUR future.
You will receive my personal attention at every stage of the criminal justice process. Your best interests are of paramount concern to me as your defense counsel.
Practicing law since 1988, I have a reputation for being an honest, candid and straight forward lawyer and will inject these traits into our professional relationship.
You need an advocate who has YOUR best interests front and center. I will advocate and work tirelessly to obtain the absolute best possible resolution of YOUR matter.
STAGES OF A cALIFORNIA CRIMINAL MATTER
The criminal justice process generally has numerous steps generally beginning with the reporting of a crime (alleged crime) by an individual to a law enforcement agency.
INVESTIGATION / INITIAL CONTACT
A reporting of a crime is initiated by calling the 911, contacting the local police department on their public non-emergency line, arriving at the police department and requesting a police report be taken or any other myriad of means in which contact is made with a law enforcement agency. This report will initiate a police officer and/or detective in the beginning of an investigation regarding the reported alleged criminal activity. The investigation will seek to gather admissible evidence to identify a suspect(s) and support the arrest and/or filing of criminal charges against an identified suspect(s). This investigation may be as short as an hour or less and potentially weeks, months or years depending on the nature, complexity and severity of the alleged criminal activity. The local law enforcement agency may possibly seek to contact the suspect(s) in a non-custodial situation seeking to elicit statements therefrom.
A police officer may arrest an individual when (1) they have personally observed the individual committing a crime; (2) they have probable cause to believe the individual has committed a crime; or (3) the officer makes the arrest under a valid arrest warrant. The officer will book the individual into custody unless the matter is of a minor offense wherein the individual will be given a citation with instructions as to when & where to appear in court.
Once the local law enforcement agency has completed their initial investigation the matter will be submitted to the governing prosecutorial agency. This prosecutorial agency will review all the available evidence to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support the filing of criminal charges. The prosecution generally relies on the evidence submitted by the local law enforcement agency in making this determination. The prosecution will generally make the decision to file criminal charges wherein they determine there is legally sufficient evidence. The prosecutor seeks justice not merely convict.
Bail is a payment made by the individual allowing them to be released from custody. It is returned to them once the case is complete and after they have made all appearances in the matter. Generally, individuals seek out a bail agent or bondsman in securing bail. These agents generally charge a fee of 10% or less of the amount set for bail. Bail agents will seek collateral in addition to the bail bond. The bail agent will keep the percent fee charged even when the individual appears at all court dates. Additionally, one will forfeit the bail as well as risk the filing of a new crime for failing to appear in court on the date set.
An individual’s arraignment is often the first court appearances and must be held as quickly as possible following arrest. The time constraints are a protection for the accused so police and prosecutors may not hold an accused indefinitely. The individual is provided a copy of the written accusation and/or complaint and is advised of the charges against them. The individual will respond to the charges by pleading not guilty, guilty, no contest or request for a continuation of the arraignment. The judge makes determinations regarding bail. The judge, after consultation with the prosecutor and defense attorney, will set a schedule for future court dates. These future court dates will include pretrial conferences, preliminary hearing, pretrial motions and/or trial dates.
Prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys meet and discuss criminal matters and potential dispositions and plea bargaining in appropriate matters. These discussions allow the defense attorney and the prosecutor to present their positions & opinions regarding potential just and fair disposition of the matter. Defense attorneys assemble facts and evidence in mitigation showing the defendant’s personal situation seeking to convince the prosecution and judge of a legitimate basis for an appropriate disposition. The facts and evidence in mitigation will include specific facts about the crime, specifics regarding the defendant’s personal and criminal history as well as statements submitted and written by religious leaders, teachers, counsellors, doctors and any other relevant information. The prosecution controls which charges are filed and pursued while the judge decides the ultimate sentence. The defense attorney will discuss the negotiations and proposed disposition with their client. It is entirely the defendant’s decision whether to accept or reject any potential dispositions.
Most all cases filed by the prosecution do no result in a court or jury trial. When the criminal matter reaches this stage, citizens are brought to court and from which the parties seek to find 12 fair and impartial jurors to hear and decide the matter based upon the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard. The judge makes determinations regarding the admissibility of evidence allowed during trial. The prosecution and defense attorney are both afforded the opportunity to give opening statements. The prosecution proceeds to call witnesses while introducing statements and evidence with the defense having the right of cross examination. When the prosecution completes its case, it advises the court it has rested their case. The defense then may present witnesses and evidence until both sides have completed the case. The defense may also elect to present no witnesses or evidence and argue the prosecution has failed to prove the criminal case against the defendant. When both sides have rested the judge, prosecution and defense gather to decide what legal instructions will be given to the jury. Each side then makes closing statements. When the closing statements are completed the jury begins deliberations until reaching a verdict.
Sentencing is determined by the judge following a guilty plea, no contest plea or a guilty verdict at the end of a trial. The charges ultimately provide the potential sentencing range in each matter. Factors taken into consideration at sentencing include the facts and circumstances of the criminal matter, the defendant’s criminal and personal history and any other associated factors including but not limited to the use of a weapon, the age and vulnerability of the victim, etc.
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